Due to COVID-19, the 2020-2021 school year will bring new challenges. Aeries has compiled suggested procedures below that use existing Aeries features to meet the guidelines established by the Texas Education Agency (TEA) per the following resources:


TEA Coronavirus (COVID-19) Support and Guidance portal

TEA SY 20-21 Attendance and Enrollment FAQ (PDF)

TEA SY 20-21 Public Health Planning Guidance (PDF) updated 9/2/2020


These recommendations are based on the information we have received up to this point, and we will update this document as new information becomes available.


OC = On-Campus
RS = Remote-Synchronous
RA = Remote-Asynchronous*

* RA is the most flexible option because it can incorporate RS.
Per TEA, "A program would meet the remote synchronous method requirements if the daily instructional minute minimums above are met, even if part of the day includes asynchronous activities."


Note: OC-only campuses should use traditional attendance tracking and daily engagement procedures.



Scheduling OptionsAttendance TrackingDaily EngagementNotes & Other Settings
Secondary & Elementary w/ MST 
These suggestions apply to all instruction types (OC, RS, RA), including all possible combinations.

Student Settings:

Update Code Table page:

  • Add codes for the Student Scheduling Group field (STU.SG). Tag students as OC or RS/RA.


Special Program page or Mass Add Student Related Data page

  • Assign RS or RA program code (PGM.CD) to each student. This ensures attendance codes can be tracked.


The fields will be visible on the Teacher Portal -  Class Attendance page and can be included when printing rosters (using Add fields to the printout option).


Section Settings:

Update Code Table page:

  • Add codes for the Master Schedule Scheduling Group field (MST.SG). Tag MST sections as OC or RS/RA. This allows you to verify from class schedule that student is scheduled into correct sections.

School-wide Settings:

For an OC school that needs to quickly change the entire campus (all students) to RS or RA, whether temporarily or long term:


School Programs page:

  • Add record with Program Type set to RS or RA. Use Start/End Dates to indicate the RS or RA time period. When outside that date range, student program code settings are used. The school-wide setting supersedes all other settings during the date range.

Setup:

Update Absence Codes page:
  • Remote Synchronous-Engaged (RSE)
  • Remote Asynchronous-Engaged (RAE)

Count for ADA=Yes
Verified Not Absent


Additional Absence Codes can be created if further breakdowns are needed.


NOTE: The new codes should only be used by office staff during attendance verification.  


Teachers:

Teacher Portal - Class Attendance page:


REMINDER: A student is considered Present unless marked Absent.

  • An OC student is assumed present unless marked Absent, as before.
  • An engaged RS or RA student is assumed present unless marked Absent, as before.
  • An RS or RA student who is not engaged should be marked Absent.

  • Teachers must enter Attendance Notes for any OC student who is not onsite on a particular date (e.g., ill) but engages remotely at some point during the day. This student is eligible for ADA funding.
  • The Sched Grp column displays the student's program code. Or, the school-wide Program Type will be displayed if set.

Attendance Staff:

Classroom Attendance page:

  • Convert unverified RS/RA absences to the appropriate remote engagement code (RSE or RAE).
  • Review teacher Attendance Notes, and convert any OC absences to RAE if appropriate.
  • In Attendance Notes, add an ADA Make Up Code for OC students who are converted to RAE.
  • Convert all other unverified absences to the appropriate code as before.

Mass Change ATT Codes page:

  • Populate the All Day code for students. Additional features are coming soon to assist with this process. See FAQ.

TEA has established guidelines for measuring RA attendance through daily engagement. The following Aeries features facilitate the approved engagement methods:

  • Learning Management System (LMS) integration
  • Daily Gradebook assignments
  • Gradebook Templates (create and copy assignments)

Also, teachers must monitor any RA engagement by OC students who are not onsite on a particular date, and enter Attendance Notes accordingly. See Attendance Tracking column.


Update Code Table page:

  • Add a code for Attendance ADA Makeup (ATT.ADA).

Portal Options Attendancepage:
  • Increase # Days Teachers Can Back Post Attendance: according to district guidelines.
  • Under Student (STU table) Fields..., add the SG Field Code.
  • Select Allow teachers to override verified absences.
  • Be sure Teachers can Add & Update Attendance Note is selected.
  • Under Attendance Times, adjust the window of time for taking attendance.

Note: If RS/RA or hybrid, Attendance taking window must be increased to allow teachers more time. Example: A hybrid teacher who has 10 OC students and 10 RA students must take attendance for OC students at a specific time during the day, but may record attendance for the RA students within the next 24 hours.




Glossary

  • Hybrid Students - Students who attend some days onsite, some days remote (either synchronous, asynchronous, or a combination). 
  • Hybrid Teachers - Teachers who have sections or classes with a combination of onsite and remote students.
  • Remote - Instruction in which the student and teacher are in different locations. 
    • Remote Synchronous - Two-way, real-time/live, virtual instruction between teachers and students when students are not on campus.
    • Remote Asynchronous - Students at home participating at different times.  Instruction may include various forms of digital and online learning, prerecorded video lessons or game-based learning tasks that students complete on their own, and pre-assigned work and formative assessments made available to students on paper.


FAQ:

Q:  Should I change my schools to use Positive Attendance?

A:  No, Positive Attendance schools are designed for hourly attendance and should not be used in this situation.  Adding the new Absence Codes set as "ADA = Yes" will count the student as Present for the day and allows tracking of engagement.


Q: How will this affect Truancy reporting?

A:  A student who does not participate daily in either OC or RS/RA learning should be marked Absent to facilitate reporting of truancy rates as usual. However, a student who engages remotely at any time during the day may be marked Present, including students who are normally expected on campus. Per the Texas Education Data Standards, students with 10 or more unexcused absences within a six month period of a school year must be reported to PEIMS.

Remember, a student is considered Present unless marked Absent.


Q: Are there any future development plans for making attendance tracking easier?

A: Yes. Based on survey results, we are planning to do the following. Links to Aeries Ideas are included: